Venturi Automobiles’ Antarctica, the first electric polar exploration vehicle, has traveled 42km (26 miles) under extreme temperature conditions in British Columbia.
Venturi’s research and development department set up camp in Canada’s British Columbia at the end of February to put the Antarctica through a final phase of tests under extreme climatic conditions before the vehicle’s departure for the South Pole.
The tests provided the team with the opportunity to take on a challenge known as ‘Back to Telegraph Creek’. At 10:00am local time on March 6, three drivers took their seats on board: Prince Albert II of Monaco, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Venturi North America President Xavier Chevrin. The three took turns at the helm of the vehicle as they traveled from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek, successfully completing the final phase of the test program. At 11.54am, having covered 42km of difficult terrain, Antarctica crossed the finish line.
Telegraph Creek Road, considered one of the world’s most dangerous roads, was the location of a failed car rally in the early 20th century. In 1934, the Bedaux expedition attempted to cross the northwest of Canada from a starting point in Edmonton. However, the attempt ended in failure due to the nature of the terrain and the tough climatic conditions. As a tribute to this uncompleted expedition, Venturi revisited the epic journey in a zero-emissions vehicle.
The Venturi Global Challenges are missions organized by Venturi to test its electric vehicles in the most extreme conditions and most challenging terrains on the planet. During these challenges, Venturi has set several records and achieved a number of world firsts.
In the next few months, Antarctica will be sent to a scientific research station at the South Pole, giving the scientists working there a zero-emissions means of transportation.
“The reason I’m here in Canada is a simple one: I personally believed in Gildo Pastor’s project, and so I was very keen to follow the vehicle through its various stages of development and to try it for myself,” said Prince Albert II.
“Huge thanks are due to the fantastic team which led this mission,” said Pastor, president of Venturi. “Together, we proved that the capabilities of the electric vehicle enable it to meet a number of needs, and we have not yet discovered its limits. I think that Antarctica has yet more great surprises in store.”